Scholars in Taiwan during the Japanese Colonial Period

Highlights from the Collection: Scholars in Taiwan during the Japanese Colonial Period

Ino Kanori (1867-1925) was an anthropologist from Iwate Prefecture, Japan. Under the strict tutelage of his grandfather, at a young age he had already learnt by heart the Four Books and Five Classics. Soon after arriving in Taiwan in 1895, he established the “Taiwan Society for Anthropology” with Tashiro Yasusada, who was working in the Department of Productive Industry at the time under the Governor-General of Taiwan (Taiwan Sotokufu), and began studying the Gaoshan (High Mountain) and Pingpu (Plains) Tribes. In 1897, he went to Lanyu to continue his research, where he met Torii Ryuzo. In his third year in Taiwan, Ino Kanori completed a 192-day investigation on the aborigines of Taiwan, encompassing their geography, transportation, industries, customs, languages, cultures, and their interactions with other residents of Taiwan. He presented the results in his text, Report on Aborigines in Taiwan. His new system for classifying Taiwanese aborigines included in this report was considered Ino Kanori’s most significant achievement. Discarding the traditional, rough categorization that divided the tribes into the more and less civilized, he instead devised eight groups, and further divided the Pingpu tribes into ten sub-tribes, laying the basis for all future studies and classification of Taiwanese aborigines. 
He became a researcher for “Studies in Aboriginal Affairs” in April, 1898, and presented Developments of Aborigines in Taiwan. The “Provisional Research Society of Taiwanese Customs” was established in 1900, and Ino Kanori was appointed the director. He returned to Japan in 1906, and in addition to caring for his elderly grandfather, he devoted his time to writing books on the development and reclamation history of Taiwan as well as on “managing aborigines.” In 1925, he died at age 58 in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture, having suffered a relapse of the malaria that he had originally contracted in Taiwan.  
Torii Ryuzo (1870-1953) was an anthropologist from Tokushima City, Tokushima Prefecture, Japan. Never formally educated, he accumulated a vast amount of knowledge in anthropology through self-study and research. In 1896, the second year of the Japanese Colonial Period in Taiwan, Tokyo Imperial University sent experts on zoology, botany, geology and anthropology to the island to conduct a comprehensive survey, and the 26-year-old Ryuzo was on the list. In 1897, Ryuzo went to Lanyu (formerly named Hongtouyu), where his research made him a pioneer in studies on the Yami Tribe. During the five years that followed, he came to Taiwan four times for research, traveling all over the island, from Lanyu to Green Island, climbing both Yushan and the Central Mountains. During this time, he completed two ethnographic works,(Report on Hongtouyu Traditional Customs and Anthropological Album of Taiwan Hongtouyu). 
After returning to Japan, he continued his teaching at Tokyo University. In 1921, he was awarded a PhD in literature by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture in Japan, and was appointed associate professor at Tokyo University the next year, holding the second office of the Anthropology Course Director. In 1924, Ryuzo resigned from Tokyo University and established the Ryuzo Graduate Institute of Anthropology. In 1928, he helped found the Sophia University. In 1939, Ryuzo set off for Beijing and was recruited as professor at Yenching University. He died of illness in Tokyo in 1953, at the age of 83.
Mori Ushinosuke (1877-1926) was an anthropologist from Kyoto, Japan. He came to Taiwan as a soldier when the Japanese occupied the island in 1895, staying to work in various organizations, including the museum affiliated with the Bureau of Productive Industry, the “Provisional Research Society of Taiwanese Customs” and the “Office of Aboriginal Affairs” under the Governor-General of Taiwan. In the span of thirty years, he conducted a number of field studies on Taiwanese aborigines, traveling around Taiwan, taking numerous trips to offshore islands including Lanyu, and visiting local tribes on a much larger scale than his contemporaries, Ino Kanori and Torii Ryuzo. For this reason, Torii Ryuzo praised him as “the best researcher in the field of aboriginal studies in Taiwan.” He collected materials and data on topics ranging from history, anthropology, botany, ethnology, archaeology, to geography, most of which were later compiled in his Taiwan Aborigines Atlas published in 1915, and his Chronicles of Taiwan Aborigines Vol. 1 in 1917. Sadly, most of his unpublished manuscripts and materials were all destroyed in a fire caused by the Great Kanto Earthquake on September 1st, 1923. 
After the “Oita Incident,” Mori Ushinosuke focused on establishing an ideal “Aboriginal Paradise” similar to an autonomous region, but was opposed by all of his contemporaries. On July 4, 1926, Mori Ushinosuke mysteriously disappeared from the ship “Kasato Maru” which was setting off to Kobe from Keelung. The Japanese government later declared that he committed suicide by jumping into the sea, and thus ending his legendary life. Posthumously his name lived on; the anthropologist Miyamoto Nobuto praised him as “the greatest figure in early Taiwanese aboriginal research”; Torri Ryuzo also referred to him as “the pioneer researcher in Taiwanese aborigines.”
Kawakami Takiya (1871-1915) was a botanist from Yamagata Prefecture. A graduate of Sapporo Agricultural College, he was born with exceptional skills of observation. In his childhood, he had already started collecting insects and plants in the fields to prepare his own scientific specimens. While studying at Sapporo Agricultural College, he collected samples from all over Hokkaido, in turn discovering many new plant species and making valuable contributions to the understanding of Hokkaido island botany. He came to Taiwan in 1903 and worked as a technician in Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan, and as a Plant Pathology Unit Director at the Agricultural Experimentation Institute. In 1905, he became the Chief of Useful Plant Investigation Affairs, and held the office of the first curator for the Sotokufu Museum. During this time, he concentrated on directing plant researches around the country, traveling all over Taiwan and offshore islands including the Pengjia Islet, Lanyu and Penghu, and obtained significant results. The useful plants investigation he presided over not only laid the foundation for future botany research in Taiwan, but also shed light on the mystery of Taiwan that had long been known as “the dark region” by western botanists. 
In 1910, Kawakami Takiya established the “Taiwan Society for Natural History,” conducting field research, seminars, academic paper publishing and publication of the Taiwan Society for Natural History News Reports regularly each year until 1945. This annual was the most important literature on animal, plant and geological research in Taiwan during the Japanese Colonial Period. On March 25, 1915, upon the completion of the “Kodama-Goto Memorial Hall,” he immediately set to work on moving the Sotokufu Museum into the new hall and officially opened it to the public on August 20. But sadly, he died the very next day due to chronic fatigue from overwork. The main works by Kawakami Takiya include Wild Cuticle Plants in Taiwan published in 1906, Useful Plants in Taiwan (1)-(3) from 1907-1908, Catalogue of Plants in Taiwan published in 1910, New Mountain Top Plants from 1911, and Catalogue of Plants in Hongtouyu published in 1916.  Under his direction, 2368 species of plants in Taiwan were documented in the Catalogue Plants in Taiwan. 
Sasaki Shunichi (1888-1961) was a botanist from Oita Prefecture, Japan. In 1918, at the age of 20, he came to Taiwan to work for the Governmental Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan. Collecting and studying plants, he travelled all over Taiwan (including Guanshan Historic Trail, Zhiben Historic Trail, Nanhu Mountain, Dabajian Mountain, Taiping Mountain, Xue Mountain and Yushan) and offshore islands including Lanyu and Lanyu Islet, among which he visited Lanyu and Yushan each up to seven times for collection, and most of his samples were kept in the Waxy Leaf Museum of “Forestry Department of the Central Research Institute, Taiwan Sotokufu” (the present Taipei Forestry Research Institute). He conducted botany research in Taiwan for 30 years, and wrote books, including Essentials of Folk Medicine in Taiwan in 1924, Names of Plants in Taiwan in 1928,  Taiwan Sotokufu Forestry Department Waxy Leaf Museum Catalogue in 1930, and Introduction to Plants in Taiwan in 1939. During the Pacific War, he was sent to the island of Java as director of the Bogor City Forestry Research Center. After the war, he returned to Japan in 1946 and worked on the Tanegashima Farm of Kagoshima Pharmaceutical Company. He died of illness in Japan in 1961, at the age of 73.
Born in Tokyo, Japan, Kano Tadao (1906-1945) was educated at Taipei High School from 1925 to 1929. In 1930, he entered the Tokyo Imperial University for his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geography, and was awarded a PhD in 1941 for his thesis on Zoogeographical Study on Tsugitakayama (literally meaning the second highest mountain, also named Xue Mountain.). He was a prominent scholar in natural history and humanities among his contemporaries in Taiwan during the Japanese Colonial Period. While in Taiwan, he conducted frequent studies in the mountains. He specialized in geography, geology and topography, as well as having a strong understanding of insects, mammals, amphibians, fish, reptiles and flora. He also studied the customs, cultures, languages and archaeology of Taiwanese aborigines, truly exploring a vast range of academic research. Prior to 1944, he published a total of 153 papers and two collected works, including Mountains, Clouds, and Aborigines – Travel Notes on Mountains in Taiwan,  Taiwan Aborigines Atlas, and Ethnological and Archaeological Study of Southeast Asia. His discoveries on Nanhu Mountain and Xue Mountain glacial landforms were also highly remarkable. 
From 1942 to 1943, Kano Tadao accepted a mission consigned by the army to conduct research on local customs and cultures in the Japanese occupied area of the Philippines, and moved to North Borneo in June, 1944, to continue his research. Shortly after, the fighting in North Borneo escalated, and on July 15, 1945, he set off for “Shapeng” with Kaneko Souhei, headed for where the Japanese 37th Army Command was located. In the chaos of war, he and his traveling companions disappeared. Due to his contributions to academic research, many scholars believe that had he not disappeared, he would have become a major, leading figure in post-war Japanese humanities studies. Therefore, many Japanese scholars call him “the naturalist who forgot to return.” 
Yang Nanjun,《探險臺灣_鳥居龍藏的臺灣人類學之旅》(Explore Taiwan –Torii Ryuzo’s Anthropological Tour in Taiwan), Yuan-Liou Publishing Co., Ltd., Taipei City, 1996. 
Yang Nanjun, 《生蕃行腳—森丑之助的台灣探險》(Exploring Aborigines – Mori Ushinosuke’s Adventures in Taiwan), Yuan-Liou Publishing Co., Ltd., Taipei City, 2000.
Wu Yonghua,《被遺忘的日籍臺灣植物學者》(Portraits of the Forgotten Japanese-Taiwanese Botanists), Morning Star Publishing Inc., Taichung City, 1997. 
Yang Nanjun,《鹿野忠雄—縱橫台灣山林的博物學者》(Kano Tadao – The Naturalist who Roamed the Forests and Mountains in Taiwan), Yuan-Liou Publishing Co., Ltd., Taipei City, 1998. 
Collections on Scholars in Taiwan during the Japanese Colonial Period
Litsea cubeba (Lour.) Persoon 山胡椒
Data Type: Plant Specimen
Waxy leaf Specimen
Subject and Keywords: 
Contributor: Kawakami Takiya, Sasaki Shunichi
Date: 1908-07-01 
Language: English, Chinese 
Geographic Range: 
Beitou, Taipei City 
N 25/08/19' E 121/29/39 
Altitude: 6000 M 
Management rights: Herbarium of Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan